Every time we pick up the newspaper or turn on the television, we are constantly reminded about the violence in the city. The numbers are mindboggling.
Most of us who keeps their ears to the street know that most the violence that goes on in Chicago these days is not just from gang-banging or drug dealing. It is from personal beefs or disagreements. This is where CeaseFire can come in and assist the Chicago Police Department in stop violence before it starts.
CeaseFire is an anti-violence program and initiative of the Chicago Project for Violence Prevention aimed at reducing street violence by using outreach workers to interrupt potentially violent situations. These violence interrupters work on the street, mediating conflicts between gangs and intervening to prevent retaliatory shootings and killings. The project was founded in 1995 by Dr. Gary Slutkin, an American epidemiologist who maintains that violence is a public health issue that can be prevented by changing behavioral norms.
The partnership between CeaseFire and the Chicago Police Department is the first of its kind in the city. The city will give the group a one-year grant for $1 million to hire 40 "interrupters" who will mediate conflicts in the Ogden and Grand Crossing districts, where gun violence has spiked.
Look, most of us have seen or heard an agreement that started verbal and some died soon after.
I know some people are skeptical about the type of alliance but. Look around!! Has anything really worked??
Large segments of the population in this city do not trust the Chicago Police Department. Why not bring someone with some sort of credibility to get breakdown barriers that CPD can’t get through? See it action here.
Angela Caputo of the Chicago Reporter, who was kind enough to come on to WVON a few months back to discuss the piece she wrote called “Abusing the Badge” had a discussion with a CPD officer who said this:
“You have [officers] who have never seen a black person, never went to school with a black person, never lived around a black person, but then they’re assigned to a black neighborhood. And that black neighborhood is such a crime-infested area, it’s totally different from what they come from,” “Sometimes they can misjudge a person’s character because they begin to look at everybody the same.”
Having read that, you can see where someone on the verge of violence might hear out someone who was once in that person’s footsteps.
The partnership between CeaseFire and the police might work. It might not but at least something is being done to stop the senseless B.S. going on the streets.